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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised the efforts of Panama to meet new international tax transparency standards and revealed that an information sharing agreement between the two countries could be concluded soon.
Merkel made her comments following a meeting with Panamanian President Varela Rodriguez in Berlin on October 18, at which the two leaders discussed ways in which bilateral economic ties could be strengthened.
Panama's legal and tax framework, and its willingness to cooperate internationally in the fight against tax evasion, has come under intense scrutiny since the release of the first tranche of the "Panama Papers" in April this year. However, Merkel said that she was pleased with the progress that the country had made towards meeting international standards on tax.
"Panama has responded very swiftly and we are delighted that Panama has now declared its readiness to adopt OECD standards," she said. "I can only encourage Panama to clearly and unambiguously regulate past matters, because this is extremely important in order to cultivate trust."
Varela added: "We want to fight together to achieve greater transparency in the financial system."
According to Merkel, negotiations towards a bilateral information exchange agreement between Germany and Panama began in July this year and could be concluded by the end of 2016.
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